(T&P’s translation from Spanish) Article published by El Correo de Andalucía:
The phenomenon of the Islamist terrorism in Andalucia is not “isolated” any more: it has become “stable and structural”. After March 11th bombings, Jihadi nets have settled in all the provinces and have solid foundations in all of them to fund their operations, specially using drug trafficking. Since then, two terrorist attacks have been aborted in Andalucia.
An example: Civil Guard detains 5 alleged drug traffickers who were selling hashish and to have more benefits, were also selling stolen cars. It would be just one more anti-drug operation, if it weren’t because, among those five “narcos”, was Mohammed El-Khaloum, vice-president of the Islamic movement of Algeciras (Cádiz). With the money obtained from drug trafficking, he was funding a terrorist cell which wanted to attack in the north of Morocco, according to investigation sources.
El-Khaloum’s arrest is a clear signal of the presence of Islamism in Andalucia, even after all the policial macro-operations which had been carried on in this community, a dozen in the last 5 years, with 37 arrests, and another 7 of a minor entity. The official confirmation comes when Interior Ministry, in a report made by presidential advisers in counterterrorism matters, it is stated that the Jihadism is an “structural phenomenon” in regions like Andalucia, Catalonia, Valencia and Madrid. “Since March 11th, these nets have not stopped growing, while inserting themselves structurally. So, it’s necessary that answers to this phenomenon are designed and implemented to diminish its importance“, adds Javier Jordán, professor of Political Science and Management at Granada’s University and specialist of Real Instituto Elcano (Note that Mr. Jordán does not refer to the “extinction” of this phenomenon, but to diminish its importance. So he is really considering “extinction” as something impossible. BUT the important thing here is that the Govt. hasn’t even done what is necessary to diminish its importance).
Andalucia is the second region with more “nuclear” operations made -that is, operations which target ideologues and very organised nets-, only after Catalonia. The islamists prefer this region, basically, because of the numerous Maghrebi population living there -around 85,000 people, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE)-, as the Maghreb is the point of departure for most of the Islamist terrorists founding terrorist nets in Spain. Another cause is the traditional demand of Andalucía as heart of Al-andalus, the land where Islam’s light lit like no where else (WTF!) and that wakes up the terrorists’ desire for reconquest. There is another third cause that draws these groups to Andalucia: its closeness to the “frontier”, whether it’s with Africa or with Portugal, something which makes it easier for them in case they need to flee.
Only in some isolated cases, these nets have considered Andalucia as the target of their attacks. Since 2004, 2 terrorist plots have been aborted, in an embryonic phase both of them, out of seven aborted in Spain in the same period. The first was discovered in an attempt to obtain explosives and radioactive substances to attack “an extremely crowded event in Madrid or in a city located in Andalucia”, planned by Moroccans arrested on Dec. 2004. The second aborted plan targeted the Algeciras-Ceuta ferry and was discovered on March 2005. The alleged terrorists were again of Moroccan nationality.
In Nov 2005, a group of Algerians was arrested while they prepared a “great action” in Madrid. They tried to buy illegally explosives in some Granada’s mines. A Moroccan youth was also arrested in Dec. 2006 in Cadiz, with his fingernails recently cut and a shaved chest (I wonder what this implies…), ready to attack in Morocco.
But normally, extremists seek in Andalucia usually volunteers for their war and funding. Interior’s report explains that the arrested in those years made “logistical” and “recruiting” activities. Normally, they send youths to Iraq or Afghanistan, not to attack in Europe (wow, I’m relieved…).
Propaganda actions using the web, are nearly non from Andalucia, as it is a tool to connect with foreign countries. In Andalucia, as in the rest of Spain, family, religious and social nets are much more used, and that’s where Interior Ministry is reinforcing its precautionary presence.
These terrorists are not only immigrants who have recently arrived, unemployed, with a marginal situation or suffering racism. Among the arrested, there were Maghrebies who had been radicalised after achieving a stable position in society or were already owners of their own businesses. Javier Jordán explains that Jihadist phenomenon in Spain has a “firm trend who will be mantained in the next decade and which will affect some sectors of te scond generation of immigrants”, those who are now children or teenagers“.
technorati tags: Spain, terrorism, Islamism, Javier_Jordán, Real_Instituto_Elcano, Morocco, Granada, Andalucía, Al-Andalus, Maghreb, Iraq, Afghanistan, Madrid, immigration, Catalonia, Valencia, Mohammed_El-Khaloum, Algeciras, Jihadism, drug_trafficking